The House of Magic takes audiences on a journey with a little ginger cat named Thunder, who finds himself living in an enchanted house after being lost in a storm.
The house’s owner, Lawrence, an elderly magician, is immediately fond of Thunder. He offers him a safe haven in his idiosyncratic mansion, which is full of magical gizmos and toys that double as his companions.
But not everyone is fond of the new feline addition; rabbit Jack and his faithful mouse pal, Maggie, see Thunder as a threat to the balance of the house. Add to the mix a greedy nephew, Daniel, who will stop at nothing to trick his frail uncle and sell the house out from under him, and there’s some hefty conflict for Thunder to contend with.
The House of Magic is reminiscent of a bygone era of filmmaking for children. The feel of it is different to Shrek, Planes, Hotel Transylvania and other modern kids’ films that usually feature the voices of a host of Hollywood stars. A European-produced and directed film, with Belgian/French directors, this has more of whimsical, jaunty vibe. It also boasts a funky soundtrack featuring The Cure, Madness and recognisable Top-40 hit “Am I Wrong”.
Yet the 3D animation is as sharp, vibrant and polished as it must be to match the other feature animations strategically released around school holiday time.
The characters are voiced by actors who aren’t well-known, with Thunder’s voice (Murray Blue) reminiscent of the Casper television series and films of the ’60s and ’70s. He’s saccharine-sweet and beguiling.
Parents chaperoning their children shouldn’t expect any sneaky cynical or wry cracks amid the script; it’s all very kid-friendly, aside from the odd “street” remark from a feisty chihuahua and some pooping pigeons. But children, especially younger ones, will love it. My three-year-old was spellbound.
A delightful 85 minutes or so of children’s cinema.
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